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Rathbone off the scrap heap and ready to rumble

Brumbies winger Clyde Rathbone from the scrap heap and back to big time rugby, Rathbone is likely to be named in the starting line up against the Red's on Saturday night.

Brumbies winger Clyde Rathbone from the scrap heap and back to big time rugby, Rathbone is likely to be named in the starting line up against the Red's on Saturday night. Photo: Karleen Minney

Standing next to an overturned truck in a scrapmetal yard in Fyshwick is the last place Clyde Rathbone thought he'd be in preparation for his ACT Brumbies comeback.

It's a long way from the bright lights of Canberra Stadium and the roar of the crowd which will ring in Rathbone's ears when he makes a stirring return to rugby on Saturday night.

Just 18 months ago, the beaten-up red truck was a symbol of Rathbone's broken and shattered life - he was depressed, overweight and contemplated suicide.

But while the truck is beyond repair, Rathbone is back on track, on top of his mental demons and will make a stunning comeback when he lines up against the Queensland Reds in the opening round of the Super Rugby season.

It will be the most emotional comeback at Canberra Stadium since Julian Huxley ran on to the field after overcoming a brain tumour in 2010.

For Rathbone, it's the start of his second chance as a player and he's got new priorities and a new focus.

The former Australian winger has made a remarkable transformation over the past two years.

At his lowest point, he was 16 kilograms overweight, his rugby career was over and he was ready to give up on his life after injuries prematurely ended his career in 2009.

He publicly opened up about his fight with depression in February last year, revealing he had been living a ''fictitious existence''.

It prompted Brumbies coach Jake White to contact Rathbone and a year later the 31-year-old will be trying to recapture the form which saw him play 26 Tests for the Wallabies, albeit with a different perspective on rugby.

''I've had a paradigm shift in my perspective on life,'' Rathbone said.

''By realising what's important, it helps you be better at the things you used to think were important.

''Rugby is just a game, you experience it with your mates and it's a privilege. [But] I've redefined what success is.'' Rugby isn't Rathbone's saviour. He won his battle with depression away from the sport so he had a clear perspective on what needed to change in his life.

Getting back on the field is his chance to test himself and enjoy ''making a difference'' in people's lives.

But far from being on the scrap heap, his former Brumbies and Wallabies teammate Joe Roff believes it's the start of a journey back to the pinnacle of world rugby: ''He probably has the potential to have the best season he's ever had.''

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR vs AUS 01:30Twic
USA vs NZL 07:00Soldier Field
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs SAM 01:00Stadio Del Duca
ENG vs NZL 01:30Twic
WAL vs AUS 01:30MilS
FRA vs FJI 03:45Stade Velodrome
IRE vs RSA 04:30Lansdowne Road
SCO vs ARG 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs ARG 01:00Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris
ENG vs RSA 01:30Twic
WAL vs FJI 01:30MilS
SCO vs NZL 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
FRA vs AUS 07:00StdF
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE vs GEO 01:30Lansdowne Road
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs RSA 01:00Stadio Plebiscito
SCO vs TGA 01:30Rugby Park
IRE vs AUS 03:30Lansdowne Road
WAL vs NZL 04:30MilS
ENG vs SAM 06:00Twic
FRA vs ARG 07:00StdF
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
 
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